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applestar
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Gotcha! :wink:
rainbowgardener wrote:Wonderful, applestar! Just out of curiosity, what room in your house is all this stuff in? I just keep thinking, if I were going to try this for this coming winter, where would I put it all?
What room? What room DOESN'T have "all this stuff" :lol:
...majority are in the Family room -- I tell myself that they clean the air and provide oxygen. :wink: With all the lights, no one bothers to turn on the normal incandescent lighting for the room anymore. Kitchen window is always dedicated to edible plants in the winter. I also have them occupying the best SE facing windows in the upstairs bedrooms.

:mrgreen: :flower: ...well, yeah... nutz:

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gixxerific
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LOVE IT!! Your killing me here though. I am about down to just a few plants. After the disease things went south fast. About time to get starters going too so I want to clean the area up first, I can't have a disease follow me outside. :shock:

I see you are using a window as well. I notice that helps a lot even in my case. When I am home and bring them up to the good south windows they perk up and take off a bit. If I could turn my house 180 degrees I would be set. Even a greehouse would be put up.

But as they say "Loaction, Location, Location". I am struggleing with mine, for winter at least. I have some ideas, there is always next years "Winter Dwarf Thread" right? :wink:

Oh yeah you got something coming to your mail box, leaving today.

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{Thank you, Gixx! :-()}

Sorry this is going to take up a lot of space, but I wanted to review the matter in question, so I'm quoting a couple of my own posts:
applestar wrote:So, much to my chagrin :oops: the variety I've been calling "Black Krim" throughout this thread has turned out to be NOT Black Krim. :oops: :oops: :oops:

I had the first inclination a while back when I noticed that the fruits didn't look like the other varieties.... This one realy looked like they have CLEAR skin:
Image

Image

...then I FINALLY noticed that these plants seem to have POTATO LEAF foliage:
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Image

BLACK KRIM is REGULAR leaf and has RED fruits (with green shoulders) -- in other words, YELLOW skin.

If you go back and look at the various photos I posted, you'll see distinct differences in the way the fruits have looked, green unripe to blushing, compared to Sophie's Choice, Zarnitsa, and Donomter F2 fruits, all of which have RED/yellow skin fruits.

So, what variety is this? I believe it's SPUDAKEE -- POTATO LEAF strain of Cherokee Purple (hence "spud" in it's name, though it's also because this strain was developed by "Spudleaf" Willie). PURPLE and PINK fruited tomatoes have CLEAR skin.

This made for an useful review in learning to recognize tomato leaf shapes and fruit colors. :wink:

...but now I'll have to go back and edit every single post (and this Post has landed on the 8th page of the thread.... ) :roll:
applestar wrote:(...BTW I have been told that these plants' Spudakee-ness is still in question and I should wait until I do a "scrape test" on the epidermis, which I gather is scraping the flesh off the skin and holding it up to the light)
applestar wrote:I tried the skin scrape test but may have not done it correctly. Here are a couple of photos. What do you think? Yellow or clear?
Image
...I had trouble with the scraped skin rolling up, so I tried sticking them to the window :lol:
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Yesterday, I took my mom to Whole Foods where they had Kumato tomatoes from Mexico in 1 lb packages for $3.99. Even though I'm not given to buying tomatoes or conventionally grown produce from south of the border, recently having been reminded of Kumato as a tasty hybrid tomato and being so easily influenced, I bought them. :roll: Mine had 5 and mom's had 6 fruits in the package.

So, with a known BLACK/yellow epi tomato at hand, I did a comparison.... (drum roll please....)
.
.
.
TAH DAH!
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Not sure if it's showing up as distinctly as to the naked eye, but the skins in the center have distinct pink color to them. You can sort of see it better with the sun shining through in this picture:
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...AAAAND I am growing SPUDAKEE! :()

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applestar/gixx ... Either of you want to weigh in on this thread:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... ht=#286078

Your experiences would be directly relevant to OPs question about indoor tomatoes.
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I'm waiting for the OP to read this thread and comment, :wink:

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I wanted to quickly mention this -- then I'm going to go have lunch. :D

I said back on the first page of this thread (I think):
applestar wrote:Not so much "indoor" tomato but container size is also a directly affecting factor. When we're starting them in spring, we can keep them in small containers because we know we're going to plant them out in the ground later and then they'll jump exponentially in size and vigor. It's easy to think you can keep them in smaller containers in the same way as long as they are not really pot bound (and we're familiar with how big the plant would be to get to that state) but if you uppot ahead of the roots reaching the sides of the container into much bigger containers, they respond by growing much stronger.
I've been assured by an experienced tomato grower that typically, cherry and saladette size varieties will produce intended size fruits even in restricted containers, but larger fruits varieties will immediately demonstrate their displeasure by shrinking their fruit size. :lol:

This summer, I'm going to try growing a number of dwarf varieties that have been bred to grow small plant height but produce larger fruits same as their genetic parents in containers, though I think the breeders were aiming for 5 gal minimum container size. I'm also going to try growing extra early to early maturing, PRODUCTIVE varieties of all fruit sizes (and colors 8))

I've decided to plant them in a shadier bed that I was puzzling over what to plant in -- which normally wouldn't be considered for tomatoes -- to see if they will fruit. And I'll start the better producers out of the bunch in late summer for next winter's indoor garden. 8)

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Lighting does make a big difference.
This is what the Winter Wonderland looks like with sun pouring in from the window when the light is not on:
Image

During the winter, the sun rises a little south of true East directly into this ESE window and, because the sun's arc remains low in the sky, shoots slanting sunbeams, past the bare branches of trees beyond our property, across the full length/width of the plant table made of IKEA desk/table top supported by an organizer unit on one end and a sturdy quilt rack on the other end.

During the summer, the sun is too high by the time it crosses this window and the sunlight doesn't reach much past the windowsill and what might have are blocked by the tree leaves -- most of the table remain in the shadows and it is used for other purposes.

My kitchen window is oriented in the same direction.

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Wow this thread was almost halfway down the page! I guess I haven't updated in a while. :o

Here is first DonomaterF2 to start blushing (I noticed it yesterday)
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(yeah this one is in my daughter's room and when it strted leaning, I grabbed one of her old belts to strap it to the Mango tree so it doesn't fall over into the supplemental light. :lol:)

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Wow! That's amazing! Everyone will be buried in snow and you'll be enjoying fresh, homegrown tomatoes! 8) How awesome do you feel right now?

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Here are today's update photos of some of the downstairs tomato trusses :D
Spudakee
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(yeah this one's stem fell over and kinked fom the weight -- I provided support with a spiral slit drinking straw, ...so of course it bent where it wasn't supported :roll:)
Zarnitsa
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DonomaterF2
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Another Spudakee (this one's next 8))
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Another Zarnitsa (and this one)
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Sophie's Choice
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Upstairs, besides the blushing DonomaterF2 pictured in the previous post, another productive DonomaterF2 in a 2-1/2 gal container has 10 green fruits and another handful of blossoms that have set fruit.

-- So how am I feeling? Well, "awesome" isn't exactly -- but I'm definitely enjoying this. :()

This morning, I had a tuna salad made with alfalfa sprouts I grew in a jar and dried oregano from last summer's harvest, and added diced red ripe Sophie's Choice tomato (that flattened tomato above was definitely not Zarnitsa but Sophie's Choice -- I must have mislabeled it). It was a 2" Saladette size and grew in a 1Lb cardboard oatmeal box (the kind Quaker Oats comes in, though mine was Country Choice organic multi grain and 1Lb2oz). Sophie's Choice has full bodied tomato flavor but is tangy and tasted great this way: I didn't have to add lemon juice.

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UPSTAIRS -- typically borderline 68-71°F by day, 65-68°F at night.

First DonomaterF2 is almost ready. It's just shy of 2" diameter (1-7/8"). Tomorrow or day after, so basically about a week from first blush to dead ripe.
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The other DonomaterF2 upstairs is starting to blush a first fruit. This one is about 1-1/2".
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More clusters further up:
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KITCHEN window bench -- 65-68°F daytime, 61-64°F night.

Almost ripe double sized (2-1/2") Spudakee and another average sized fruit (1-3/4") for this plant. Small for main season Spudakees but if they taste anything like the fruits from the other sibling plant, they are going to be scrumptious. This out of control plant is still in a 7" nursery pot. I missed the chance to Uppot and decided to let it go and see what it would do....
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More clusters here and it has other flower trusses setting fruit:
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I'm going to save seeds from this plant separately in case this ability to grow so huge and fruit is a special trait.

Hot Lemon peppers, too :D
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Downstairs' 36" high counter table dubbed "THE WINTER WONDERLAND" -- typical temp here is upper 60's during the day and drops to low 60's during the night.

This is the Zarnitsa that was crushed by the falling light fixture. Still bandaged up, but going strong:
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This is one of the two DonomaterF2's:
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2nd one is a wispy leaved runt and is just setting fruits now so no pics. :P

Sophie's Choice. Aside from the double/fused Spudakee, Sophie's Choice is growing the biggest fruits at 2-1/2 to 3".
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This one is in a 2 gal bucket and is on a 4" riser to stay closer to the light fixture (approx 3" below the tubes) while DonomaterF2's and Zarnitsa are pushing up against the protective wire grid 1" below the tubes.

COOL GANG grouping on the floor where overnight temp drops down as low a mid-50's, daytime high about 65°F

Zarnitsa and Sophie's Choice here were just harvested -- very few fruits on these plants. They will each produce maybe 3 more.

Another Spudakee (Edit: daughter ate it on a French bread pizza today -- Thurs -- 1.55 oz, 1-7/8" diam)
Image
It is completely out of control and has passed the 5' height. It's been blooming and setting fruits madly since it passed the 4ft height -- fine and dandy but too tall and too late. The flavor is incredibly exceptional and I'm enjoying them, but I wouldn't consider it for future indoor growing.

I found alternate dark fruited variety candidates for next year though 8)
Current top 3 candidates are -- Tasmanian Chocolate, Rosella Purple, and Sinister MinisterF4. All three are reputed to have fantastic flavor that rival Spudakee/Cherokee Purple. First two are supposed to only grow to 4 ft. Sinister MinisterF4 is not a short variety but is supposed to be productive and is a plum, so I'm going to try topping it early and see how it takes to being kept pruned down.

I'm still working on other fruit color candidates. Inevitably a lot of red cherries and saladettes in the list, but I also want some other colors, shapes, and hopefully sizes, too. :()

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Apparently, the determinate DonomaterF2's all decided it was time to ripen :)
#1 Image
#3 Image

Yesterday, we harvested one DonomaterF2 and two Spudakee. Spudakee were dead ripe so we ate them :()
Image

Today, harvested two more DonomaterF2 and weighed them:
Image
(These fruits don't have the yellow shoulders that Gixx noted in the F1's)

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...and today:

#3Image
Image

Image
Image

According to my daughter, even though #4 is skimpy with fruit and only has ripened this single larger fruit as compared to the more prolific if smaller fruited #1 and #3, #4's fruit is sweet and tasty while #1 and #3 fruits were not up to her standard and she only would taste one more piece before declaring them unworthy. She is eat the rest of #4 fruit.

-- and don't worry, Gixx, I saved seeds from all three. :wink:

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Today, I made an executive decision and "fired" a non-productive Spudakee plant. :twisted:
...in fact, it was even more medieval than that since it was summarily executed and then drawn and quartered and stuffed into the worm pit (composter). :shock:

You see, I took a cutting from a Spudakee last month because the upper sucker had grown so big before I realized it. The clone rooted in no time at all and even though I only planted it in a small 2x2x2.5" pot, proceeded to grow a nice floral truss and even started pushing up against the lights to the point that I HAD to Uppot it today.

The usurper is now happily ensconced in this window-side tub (I mentioned it once before. I think I calculated it to be approx 3.5 or 4 gal?)
Image
(You see where the stem is bent under the floral truss? That's how much it was pushing up and bent over :roll:)


I have two more cuttings of Spudakee rooting as well as two of DonomaterF2#4. I have a beginning of an idea that this might be a way to get a jump on very late maturing indeterminate varieties -- similar to overwintering hot peppers. 8)

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We had a tomato tasting. 5 judges tasted in following order --

1) very ripe Zarnitsa (Winter Wonderland)
2) ripe DonomaterF2#1 (Winter Wonderland)
3) ripe DonomaterF2#3 (upstairs -- warmer, less light, beset with Spidermites)
4) 2 fruits under ripe Spudakee (Cool Gang)
5) very ripe Kumato (store bought grown in Mexico)

Tasting was casual and judges were asked to simply comment with their impressions, though not everyone did.

1) Zarnitsa had a OK tomato flavor but ended with an acid bite.
-- "It's OK but I don't love it. It might be good in a salad"
-- "It's sour"
-- "It doesn't have a long flavor"

2) DonomaterF2#1 was somewhat better with no acid bite
-- "Its sweeter than the first one, but doesn't have as much flavor"
-- "Donomater, meh" (guess who? :lol:)
-- "Flavor is short and the texture is almost mealy"
-- "Oh, this one isn't the same as the last one?"

3) DonomaterF2#3 started out tasting good, but then there was a dissatisfied expectation. I almost wished it had an acid after bite.
-- "This one is juicier, but something is missing."
-- "Do I have to eat this one?"
-- "This one has even shorter flavor, but I like it better than the last one)
..... Two extra pieces were left uneaten. But judges1 and 2 asked if these Donomaters might taste better grown in the summer. And they said they might eat the remaining uncut #1 and #3 another day.

4) Spudakee had a much fuller flavor and despite underripe state, overshadowed the first three with mouth watering flavor
-- "This one tastes the best! Juicy! Delicious!"
-- "Spudakee! Yay! Can I have more?"
-- "Very long in flavor. This is nice."
-- "Oh! This one is very good. Can I have another one?"
-- "Very, very tasty"
..... After the plate made the round, judge3 took back the plate and ate the last remaining two pieces as well as shoveled the seeds and gel that fell out on the plate into his mouth. Good thing I didn't need to save those seeds....

5) Kumato was a very interesting way to end the tasting. Especially after the Spudakee with plentiful green gel that wouldn't stay on the somewhat cavernous cut pieces and had fallen all over the plate, which made for a rather messy and unattractive presentation. Kumato was the largest fruit, and the comparatively large, dense cut pieces held onto the minimum gel seeds, with a gorgeous color mixture of mahogany and garnet in the flesh. Hands down, Kumato was the best looking tomato and generated an almost palpable flurry of anticipation. But I'll withhold my tasting comment and let the others say it....
-- (making a face) "Bleah. This doen't have any flavor."
-- "...."
-- "OMG"
-- "...and it looks so beautiful...:("

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gixxerific
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Aweome Apple.

So Donomater did'nt hit the charts eh? Oh well the joitnless pedicle is worth the admission. The F3 can still throw many new possibilites.

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You're right about that. I'm counting on other Donomater growers who have the large gardens to grow many more Donomater plants to discover the best line. My itty bitty sample doesn't reveal or mean a whole lot, but it IS interesting to pay close attention and make note of the differences. :wink:

I'm going to actually look at the pedicels from now on. I think Belstar is the only other variety I've ever grown to have that particular characteristic that is sought after by commercial and market growers for fruits that wont poke at each ther.

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Yes that is a highly sought after trait. Jointless that is.

There is even a big time breeder looking to use this. Can you say stripes? 8)

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Yesterday's lunch:
Fresh DonomaterF2#3 and lettuce from under the lights on hamburger :D
Image

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Now you are just bragging, applestar! :) Beautiful!!!

You know, I've been a vegetarian so long, I honestly didn't recognize the brown thing next to them. I was thinking some kind of pita bread.
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I wrote a long reply the other day then hit preview for one last check and my browser crashed. :x Too discouraged to write it again then.

To summarize, I wanted to say that I really would love to see more people trying this. If you can grow houseplants in winter, so can you grow tomatoes with a little bit of extra light.

I'm estimating
* one clamp on utility light with 6500K cfl bulb to supplement a sunny southeast, south, or southwest window for one or two plants. Two lights -- one on either side for four plants.
* two tube fluorescent fixture with 6500K bulbs -- overhead 24" fixture for two plants, 48" for four plants. Four tube fixture would double the capacity.
* two tube fluorescent fixture set vertically can support two plants. I'm envisioning hanging them on a wall corner or utility shelf unit or inside walls of a narrow bookcase or wardrobe like from IKEA for more decorative living area appearance.
.
Last edited by applestar on Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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...or you can go crazy like me :wink:

Photos taken yesterday --

Kitchen Window Bench:
Image
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Winter Wonderland in the Family Room:
Image
Image
Image
Image

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gixxerific
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Well you know I'll will be there with you next year. :hehe:

I would be rolling in tomatoes right now if it wasn't for the disease that took most everything out. But try and try again right. I can kill a plant with the best of them, but I keep marching on. :wink:

Now to find that big pry bar I have, it's here somewhere. I need to rotate my house 180 degrees. I have ton's of great windows on my North facing side but none on the South facing, :evil: unless it is a kids bedroom. And with my kids the plants would be in shreds within day's.

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I know -- I'm really sad that your tomatoes didn't make it this year, but it was an unusual infection, and hopefully not to be repeated especially since you,ll be on your guard.

I was thinking about growing indoor winter tomatoes more "decoratively" --

-- just from remembering duh_vinci's photos, one way is to use matching containers. Somehow, a "collection" of matching containers creates a sense of neatness. Using matching decorative plant/tomato supports like painted cages and spirals would help.
-- lighting could be concealed inside more decorative shelving units. I was thinking about how older deep entertainment units that are no longer useful due to flat screen TV's could be repurposed. On the inexpensive, there's always IKEA. But they'll need to be waterproofed. My IKEA table top being used for the Winter Wonderland is starting to show signs of wear: Spilled/dripping water seems to have gotten into the pressed wood core due to thin paint or lamination getting scratched off.
-- when I lived in an apartment long ago, I created a plant corner with mirror tiles and lighting.

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Simply amazing Apple I don't know how you do it. I am impressed.

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:() Thanks, Gixx. :()

Here are the stats on some of the tomatoes harvested after taking the pictures:
Image

Do you see the giant sepals on the upper left Donomater fruit? Is that an indication that the fruit might have grown much bigger if the plant was growing in a more sizable container :?:

I remembered I have one of these ruled cutting mats (found it in quilting section of a fabric/craft store) after seeing a similar background on tomato photos at Tatianastomatobase. Unfortunately it's mauve pink and may cause color distortion. I may have to go look for a white one.

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Awesome not sure about the sepals. Blane was telling my that my Caught In A Mosh looked like a cherry when it was very young. I though he was nuts but he was right. :oops: :lol: The thing is the sepals on that were like 4-5 times bigger than the fruit. I figered it to a big one.

Might have to discuss this with experts.

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Last time we had a Sophie's Choice, it had a very acid/tangy afterbite, so I waited a little longer to eat the one pictured above. This one had an even better full tomato flavor but still tangy/a little bite/tingle at the end. Very yummy and my daughter asked me if she could finish all of the 2/3 of the fruit I gave her. :D

Image

I then gave her a small 1" Spudakee not pictured. It was still pale and not fully colored, but she burst into a smile. "Sweet and SO good!" she said. Considering the plant is growing in a 7" pot, it's a good trade-off in spite of the miniaturized fruit size.

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nice I am liking the looks of that one.

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WOW Apple, i missed apparently quite a lot in the last few months!!! You've done amazing with your indoor tomatoes, :clap:

Regards,
D

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Yes you have missed a lot. :(

Apple did amazing this year indoors. Sadly mine didn't do so well unless you count the first ever antho dwarf making it through.

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You're here! You're here! :D
So happy you dropped by. :clap:

Yes, I'm actually growing many of the seeds you gave me -- hoping to keep them viable and going before its too late. You may recognize them -- I posted the full list over in the other thread in Seed Starting forum, I think. You'll see most if not all of them have already sprouted. :mrgreen:

ETA - ha! mr. Speedy jumped in ahead of me. :lol:

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Apple I have been watching your amazing progress. You re one of my inspirations to plant from seed this spring. When will you be able to move your plants outside? Tallk about extending the growing season. You give that a new defintion.
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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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List of ALL tomato varieties I'm growing... Mostly one each some multiples:
:arrow: https://helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewt ... 767#289767

.
.
.
Thanks ElizabethB :D
My last average frost is 3-4th week of April. Safer to plant out 1st week of May if I don't want to scramble around covering them. I'm planning to plant out the Winter Indoor Trial varieties under low tunnels earlier than the rest though, since most of them are cool temp tolerant/preferred. 8)

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Random updates photos --

Air layering an overgrown sucker -- I don't want to cut it off because it's loaded with all those green fruits. So I'm going to get a good root system growing in the cup of sphagnum moss mixed with coir and potting soil before cutting it off and potting it up 8)
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DonomaterF2#4 in upstairs bedroom. It is super thirsty now and needing to be watered every day, sometimes 2x a day. :shock:
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Loaded with fruits:
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The first large fruit was not a fluke. Compare with these ripe DonomaterF2 #3 fruits which are smaller and rounder (these look very much like DonomaterF2 #1 fruits from Winter Wonderland)
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gixxerific
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Awesome Applestar. They are looking great I am happy.

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applestar
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Donomaters are getting tired:
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This one (#4) is yellowing. Hope the fruits start to blush soon....
(#3 in the other bedroom is barely keeping ahead of the Spidermites.
The ones downstairs, #1 is almost done. A couple more ripening fruits and a few more little green ones. #2 was the last to start to fruit so it's still working on ripening the first fruits, but overall, this one has been a very slow grower even after being moved to Winter Wonderland.

Since they are determinates and their demise was expected, I may pull the plug once the bigger fruits blush and not keep them limping along, especialy since I need to bring the overwintered in the near freezing garage peppers inside to wake them up. :wink:

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applestar
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Updating a lot of threads today :()

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applestar
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Upstairs Donomaters are almost done.

Here is F2#4
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The harvested #4 cluster compared to typical #1 and #3 fruits -- definitely larger sizes:
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I haven't cut them apart to weigh them yet, but will likely be heavier than those Sophie's Choice fruits since Donomater fruits are almost globes and not flattened like SC's
(But I do have another Sophie's Choice that is shaping up to be the biggest of them all)

Last of F2#3
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...see how sad they both look? It's not just the lighting that's making them look so yellowed...

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applestar
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Re: Winter indoor tomatoes

Spudakee on the floor in Cool Gang is now ripening fruits at 4 ft and 5 ft heights....
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